New blog series teaches students how to maximize their information intake

By Becca Myskiw

Red River College’s Academic Success Centre (ASC) has started a Student Blog Series that dives into what the human brain needs in order to learn.

ASC manager Lauren Phillips created the blog with interns Chelsey Finney and Cody Rogers, psychology students from Booth University College.

Rogers said the idea came after he and Finney had been researching effective study skills. He said they wanted a way to share the information with busy students.

“It’s about study skills that we can give the students,” said Rogers. “It’s just a resource for students who might not be able to make it to a study group or workshop.”

The blog came out last term on a weekly basis. The first post introduced the blog, Finney and Rogers, then started getting into the meat of the blog: how to learn better.

The posts come in a 10-part series that dives into time management, emotions, test anxiety, reading textbooks effectively and it all impacts the brain.

Phillips said understanding learning isn’t something people aren’t taught in school, but it’s essential to know you stand in front of your own learning.

Lauren Phillips is the manager of the Academic Success Centre. She worked with Cody Rogers and Chelsey Finney when creating the blog series. /BECCA MYSKIW

“There’s a lot of power knowing you have the power to grow your own brain,” she said.

Phillips said effective studying is going over notes bit by bit over a matter of days, so as not to overwhelm your brain. She also said repetition and doing something with the material you’re studying makes it easier to understand your notes. 

Phillips says that when you’re learning, the neural connections in your brain are similar to a city map.

She said learning not only creates more neurons but also makes them stronger and faster. It’s like growing the infrastructure in your brain, she said.

Phillips said Rogers and Finney are the student voices behind the blog. She said the psychology students can now put their brain research into words other students can understand.

Finney said her number one tip for studying is time management.

“For a lot of students, whether they’re a first-year or a later year, it’s really overwhelming to have course layouts that are as rigorous as Red River,” said Finney. “So, start early. Do a little bit every day to break it down and seem less overwhelming.”

Rogers gave the same tip, saying starting things early is the key to effective learning.

“It’s so easy to procrastinate and even when we know we’re procrastinating, we’re still going to do it a little more,” he said. “Start early and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

The ASC Student Blog Series is on their website: